Grand Theatre

115 East Second Street,
Tulsa, OK 74103

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Designed by architect Joseph Foucart in a Colonial/Federal Revival Style, Tulsa’s Grand Opera House opened 1906 to showcase big time touring stage presentation and opera companies. This theater was quite successful with touring opera vehicles until the mid-1930’s when depression era financial woes caused ticket sales to slump. It was then leased to feature Grand National Pictures, but still presented an occassional live stage show.

During the World War II years, the house became a popular newsreel venue, then briefly switched to second rate burlesque. Finally, during the late-1940’s, the Grand Theatre closed and was converted into a furniture sales showroom. It was demolished in 1973.

Contributed by O. K. Snedley

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on October 13, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Here is a c1907 photograph of the Grand -
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seymourcox
seymourcox on October 31, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Hear a recording of one of Gypsy Rose Lee’s burlesque routines …
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courtesy of this web site …
http://www.unicornmeat.com/

seymourcox
seymourcox on November 10, 2007 at 9:33 am

When the Grand was a burlesque house “patrons' listened to these snappy tunes while strip-tease queens pranced up and down the run-way …

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javascript:openRecsRadio(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000033ZA/ref=pd_krex_listen_dp_img/102-0656888-2129720?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp%5Fimg’)

Courtesy of this album
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missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on December 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Hear this peppy example of a strip-tease tune …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmTYdousWkg
and here are some fun examples of strip queen routines …
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5PEJmBdtAE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdt0aLl3Bg
Tame by todays standards, but quite racy back in the day!

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on July 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm

This bouncy montage shows the type of burlesque routines that were performed live upon the Grand lighted runway-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdt0aLl3Bg

raybradley
raybradley on March 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

A 100-year-old tinted picture postcard view of the Grand Theatre can be seen on below site by typing in “tulsa second street looking west”,
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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

I’ve found two sources saying that the Grand Opera House in Tulsa burned in 1920. The first is this timeline from an Oklahoma genweb page. The second is more thorough, but also problematic as it gives the address of the theater as 117 E. 2nd Street. It is from the October, 1921, issue of the journal Safety Engineering:

“October 9, 1920. Tulsa, Okla. Grand Theatre building, 117 E. 2d Street. Opera house, stores and room. One 3-story building destroyed. Walls, brick. Floors, wood. Roofs, gravel. Cause, electric wiring. Fire started under stage in theater. Discovered by night watchmen at about 1:03 a. m. Alarm, night watchman passed up 3 fire alarm boxes to notify fire department. Duration, 3 hours. Stopped at fire wall. Fire was retarded by construction of building. Firemen handicapped by overhead wires. Private fire apparatus, six 3-gallon soda and acid extinguishers. Persons in building, 6. Killed, none. Injured, none. Means of escape, 75-foot aerial truck. Value of building and contents, $58,000. Property loss, $55,000. Papers were protected.”
Were there two different Grand Theatres in Tulsa, one block apart? The address discrepancy might be an error in the 1921 publication, or perhaps Tulsa renumbered its blocks at some time. The photos from before 1920 and from the much later period when the building had become a furniture store show that the facade of the theater was the same, fire or not. Presumably the building was only gutted. I’ve been unable to find any other sources providing information about the fire, or saying anything about the rebuilding of the Grand Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

The address currently listed on this page is wrong then. The caption of the photo of the Opera House on this web page says that it was located on the north side of Second Street between Boston Avenue and Cincinnati Avenue. That’s the 100 E. block, so 115 E. Second would be the correct address, the entrance having been in the middle of the facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2011 at 2:28 am

Kewpie’s links worked for me. Here they are embedded in glorious HTML:

Opera House photo from 1971.

Opera House photo from 1906.

And here is the 1920 Tulsa City Directory (you’ll have to click the “pages 40 & 41” link in the frame on the left.)

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